China suspends Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with UK, Canada, Australia
New Zealand also announced earlier on Tuesday that it was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong...
Istanbul, Jale Akbar, İnteraz - 28 July 2020, 15:53
China has announced the suspension of extradition treaties between Hong Kong and Canada, Australia, and Britain, in response to similar moves by those countries.
The three governments suspended their extradition arrangements with Hong Kong earlier this month in reaction to the enactment of a uniform national security law in the Chinese territory.
“China has decided to suspend extradition treaties between Hong Kong and Canada, Australia, and the UK, as well as criminal justice cooperation agreements,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
“The wrong action of Canada, Australia, and the UK in politicizing judicial cooperation with Hong Kong has seriously hurt the basis of judicial cooperation,” he added.
He accused the three countries of having used the national security law as “an excuse” to unilaterally announce the suspension of the extradition treaties with Hong Kong.
Canada, Britain, and Australia are members of the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance. The two other members are New Zealand and the United States.
New Zealand also announced earlier on Tuesday that it was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
“New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China,” Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “If China in future shows adherence to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework then we could reconsider this decision.”
The US, which has already ended the preferential economic treatment of Hong Kong, is also preparing to suspend its own extradition treaty with the city.
Hong Kong’s new security law, detested by Western governments, punishes crimes of secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces with sentences of up to life in prison in Hong Kong.
Under the law, mainland security agencies are also officially based in Hong Kong for the first time since 1997, when the city’s rule returned from Britain to China.
Hong Kong has been governed under the “one-country, two-system” model since then, meaning that Chinese sovereignty is applied to the city even as it has its own government.